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The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

Is less really less?

Minimalism is an extreme that I will never be able to accomplish. In homes, minimalism is seen as bland, white plastered walls and no sense of a “welcome” into a home. In lifestyles, it is letting go and not holding on to material items, which is seen as a stress reliever in the busy modern life. There needs to be a middle ground, a place where minimalism can be based on reducing consumption and not on the idea that color and design need to be minimized.  

In the 1960s, several artists were breaking through the normality and restrictions in “fine” art. This was the idea that art was seen only as classical and a picture of ideas of world events. Artists adopted the idea of minimalism, which resulted in geometrical shapes and simple art with metaphors behind their pieces.  

This idea of simplistic design transferred to mainstream media in the early 2000s. “Less is more” was a statement in the design and arts industry. Many bloggers state how their life is perfect because they have disconnected from material items. They have disconnected from their lives being full of color and creativity – while ignoring their own personalities.  

Minimalism was started by Millennials as a part of the climate change movement to lessen the material objects one uses. While this idea of using less to save the planet is good in theory, it takes away someone’s individual personality by pushing the idea of “plain” over the idea of using less. One can still use fewer material items without their personality not being reflected in their spaces. 

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Today, people live in houses that don’t reflect them as people because of a loss of individual personality. For example, YouTuber Emma Chamberlain’s home in 2020 did not reflect her eclectic, bold and spontaneous personality. Her home was full of wasted space that followed the ideas of minimalism. The walls were white, and from the background of her videos, the house seemed cold, dull and depressing. This home had an open floor layout, creating a plethora of wasted space – while being “minimalistic.” 

In September 2022, Chamberlain finished designing an eclectic-style home that reflects her as a person. She was finally able to create a space that she felt comfortable in. Her father’s art covered the walls, and the rooms felt warm and cohesive.  

The United States’ suburbs have homes that all look copied and pasted. The U.S. has adopted regulations in these suburbs that control how people can express their personalities in houses. In many suburban neighborhoods, residents are forced to only paint their homes white, gray or gray blue. Differing from these few options can lead to fines from the neighborhood association. Thus, to fit this theme of neutral colors, the inside of these homes follow suit with white walls, white furnishings and no creativity. People’s spaces should reflect themselves as people. One should feel comfortable in their home.  

This idea of minimalism is said to reduce one’s use of items and lead to a better world where we, as a society, can stop the trend of mass consumption. 

I agree that to save the planet from the effects of climate change, we need to lessen our use of products, especially in fast fashion and consumerism. But the idea of minimalism needs to be “re-branded” to show that minimalism is consuming less, living with less and using items that are already created while not constantly needing the “new” and “trendy.” 

A way to combat this is buying secondhand, which is one of the only ways our society can slow down climate change in consumerism.  

Thus, my issue is not with the overall idea of minimalism as a way to lessen one’s effects on the planet and to live a simpler life. The idea of taking personality out of items and homes is the issue.  

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About the Contributor
Becca Rock, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Becca Rock (she/her). I am a junior, this is my first year on The Register and I am on the copy-editing team. I was voted most likely to take a gap year to travel. A fun fact about me is that fall is my favorite season of the year because it reminds me of Gilmore Girls.
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